Tuesday, May 29, 2007


Two or three years past, I was organizing one bachelorette after the other. If not, I'd be involved in the wedding details of girlfriends or attending bridal showers. Of course, there were also the weddings which until now fill my calendar an average of about one every two months. Eventually, I knew everyone would get onto the next step after the bachelorette, the wedding, the honeymoon and the mortgage - THE BABY.

Last month, on 16 April, Sophia Anne was born to my friend Kristine. Last Friday I talked to her on the phone where she proudly declared to me that she was breastfeeding. And then we began to giggle about her struggles to manage taking care of her child by herself, after her mother-in-law and other relatives have finally left mom and child alone for some bonding time.

It was tough, she confessed, trying to give such a fragile baby a bath and try not break it apart. She laughed as she shared with me her first baby bathing experience and how she has not had a decent sleep for more than a month now. But yes, she was very very happy. Sometimes, she confesses she feels like little Sophie is just staring at her wondering what mom is trying to do but many a moments, I assured her, it would be very very rewarding to know you ARE doing the right thing - whatever that is.
And then of course, there are the showers. On one weekend, I drove near Long Island with my friend and her family to attend the shower of a friend having twins. Needless to say, most gifts came in tandem.

Later on during the week was the baby shower I held for my dearest Thereza whose baby boy Hunter is due in July. Friends from our old office came to join us for a mini reunion and it was fun catching up and joking about hairlines receeding and waistlines disappearing.
In an email to a friend a few days back, we talked about setting up families and finding ourselves as single people in the midst of our friends' couplings. To me it is about the certainty that I am happy with where I am right now. To him, it is hoping that he can partake in these life celebrations eventually.
I told him I could organize his bachelor party for him. Whenever that will be.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007


There is a place in Brooklyn called DUMBO which stands for Down Under the Manhattan Bridge Overpass. It is the first stop on the Manhattan downtown subway trains after ir crosses the river. It is where the other end of the Brooklyn Bridge will drop you off. And it is the boomingest real estate location outside of Manhattan Island and it has the best vista of the city skyline. It has beautiful cobblestone streets with remnants of a tram perhaps once upon a time in an area previously known as Fulton Landing.

On Front Street, a row of restaurants line the road leading to the romantic River Cafe that overlooks lower Manhattan across the East River. A small fountain, a small garden graces its frontage and the romance of summer weekend lunches comes to mind.

New York City’s #1 pizza place and a must-go-to, Grimaldi’s is easy to spot. It should be the restaurant with an unassuming façade that holds a long line of people in front of its doors. Here each pizza is prepared and baked with fresh ingredients from an oven that is coal fired. The flavors play with the palate and each bite is savory, a mix of rich mozzarella and other ingredients. I had white pizza, with just garlic and a ton of cheese topping and mushrooms. It was memorable.

Along the length of the riverfront is a promenade that is filled with sunbathers and people enjoying one of the first perfect weekends of the season. Babies in strollers, dogs on leashes, groups playing Frisbee or badminton or a dad showing his kids how to fly a kite, it was a weekend that is so distinctly New York, so Americana and yet so urbane.

There is a long row of brick façade that once have housed warehouses now lends an air of antiquity to a district that is surging into a new rebirth. DUMBO’s real estate is booming and there are numerous high-end residential buildings mushrooming around the area. Several old buildings with watchtowers on its top floors have been recently converted into residential lofts, some of the most expensive living spaces in the city.

There is a dreamy location just beneath the Brooklyn Bridge promenade, a short walk across the river on a beautiful day. A get-away when you do not want to be too far away. So dreamy.

NOTE: This entry was featured on the website: DUMBO, NYC (link here)

Thursday, May 17, 2007


Year after year I have escaped unscathed from the maladies of the histamine sensitive. This year, either the pollen levels are extremely potent or my immunity has broken down because I have been besieged by sneezing episodes every morning and my eyes dry up so bad that by late afternoon my contacts are ready to pop out.

So then I have discovered that the perfection of spring with its fresh foliage and lavish blooms in bright colors and scents has its downside: pollen. My friends taught me to monitor the pollen levels daily on weather.com to find out to which pollen I was most sensitive to. I had a clue and confirmed after a week of checking online – of course it is grass!

When I was still Manila-based I had major allergy attacks whenever the wild grass locally called talahib bloomed, ripened and when its pollen were airborne. Matter of fact, whenever I traveled around the country, I was a radar to any talahib growth. If there was talahib within a certain radius I’ve begin wheezing and then depending on how dense the growth is either have a mild asthma attack or in worst case situations – suffer with swollen eyes and an itchy rash (on the inner fold of my arms and behind my knees the spots being most vulnerable).

Fortunately, my symptoms are quite mild. I manage with the 5 blister packs of Claritin I had brought back from Manila, which I believe is a more potent concoction than what is sold in NY locally (even that of the same brand). My other friends are not as lucky. My friend Vani was so sick from her allergies last year that she suffered a mild stroke from the stress of coping with it. Thank goodness that she had recovered well from it, only because her husband had the presence of mind to rush her to hospital when her symptoms didn’t improve.

When I was in high school suffering through one of my bouts of really bad asthma attacks, a guy brought me flowers. In the middle of his bouquet was a stalk of a talahib in full bloom. I guess he found this hilarious. I found it despicable and mean. Suffice to say, his feat didn’t earn him anything but this single memory of his twisted sense of humor.

Monday, May 14, 2007

A Walk in the Park

More pictures from my weekend in the city.

Until I have something to blog about, enjoy the pics!

Sunday, May 13, 2007

In Love Again

Six years later, I continue to find spring to be my favorite time of the year. Everything just feels like a rebirth, a sense of renewal. This weekend was about wandering and rediscovering the city I continue to be in love with. In an email to a friend last week, I told him that New York and I have this kind of a secret love affair that continually rediscovers itself in the spring.
Like love, there is so much excitement in waking up in the morning knowing that you have the whole day to spend together. I can run around the island from East end to the Hudson basking in the sun, feeling the fresh breeze and low humidity, under the blue skies and amidst the sweet smell of the colorful blooms. And that was what I did.

I walked the Brooklyn Bridge from Manhattan and headed for the promenade of the East River along DUMBO in Brooklyn to enjoy the vista of downtown New York. Sun worhsipers were sprawled on the grassy shores. Along Front Street, I shared a white pizza with a friend and had a scoop of homemade ice cream at the Ferry piers.

From there, I returned to the city by foot again via the Brooklyn Bridge. I chanced upon a couple who were taking pictures of each other. I offered to take their picture together and found out they were visiting from London. Since I had a camera slung over my shoulder, they offered to have my picture taken too, as a return favor. I refused, telling them I have many pictures on the bridge already since I lived here. They smiled and said, "You are very lucky to live here."

It was a wonderful day and my love for the city is once more affirmed.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007


Lekat ang hirap maghanap ng isusulat.

Nawalan ako ng inspirasyon – sumama yata sa aking tru lab na ngayon ay kasalukuyang nasa biyahe para sa kanyang trabaho.

Lekat, mapapa-tunayan ko na naman na di na magaling ang aking Tagalog. Di yata at binagsak ko ang aking Pilipino 3 nuong Kulusa pa ako. Mabuti pa ang aking Spanish 3 na-ipinasang-awa ko. Nuon pa man yata ay naka-destino na ako malinya sa trabaho ng foreign relations. In other words, hindi talagang hindi pang-Pinoy ang hilig ko.

OK, Victoria, saan ka nanaman pupunta sa inyong kwento? Saka na natin isulat yang iyong abersiyon sa mga Pinoy. Sabi nga ng iyong ina, wag kang magsasalita ng tapos at baka subukin ka ng taghana.

Pero teka, off-limits ang kwento tungkol sa aking love life dito sa blog. Kasama ng mga ilan pang masyadong personal na di ko pa kayang ipamahagi sa buong web (Sapot? Nyek!). Di ko ambisyon maging celebrity - kaya nga di ako nag artista eh. Ipinapamahagi ko lang paminsan-minsan ang aking mga kwento ukol sa buhay-buhay para sa inyong mga naging kaibigan ko na at suki sa aking blog. Yun na din po ang dahilan kung bakit di ko na ibig ipamahagi sa inyo ang larawan ng aking tahanan ngayon. Oo nga’t naikwento ko sa inyo ang aking masalamuot na simulain sa pagsosolo sa Manhattan pero masyado namang personal na ipamahagi ko sa inyo ang loob ng aking studio ngayon, di po ba? Baka ma-imbentaryo pa ninyo ang aking net worth. Bisitahin ninyo ako at nangangako akong iimbitahin ko kayo para matikman ang ilan sa aking mga specialty: paella man or menudo o ang ang bago kong experimento na lemon squares.

Di ko din naman maisulat ang bagong epidemic na kumakalat sa aking mga kaibigan: ang pagbubuntis. Maliban sa mga kaibigan ko na kundi baog o walang nobyo/asawa o mayroon nang higit sa ninanais nilang bilang ng anak, tipong lahat yata ng aking kaibigan ay buntis. Kaliwa, kanan, harap at likuran – lahat sila ay buntis o nakapanganak na. Suki na ako ng “Babies are Us” na website dahil halos lahat sila ay nasa registry. Tila yata kailan lang ay pinag-kaka-abalahan ko ang kanilang mga bridal shower. Ngayon naman ay puro baby shower ang aking naka-kalendaryo. Nakaka-hawa daw, babala ng aking kaibigan sa akin. Sure, sagot ko naman. Safe ko kasi wala si boypren dito. Pero GULP, nag pills na din ako.

Maganda ang panahon. Primavera o spring sa ingles ang paborito kong panahon. Mabulaklak ang paligid, luntian muli ang mga puno at ang hangin ay may matamis na halimuyak (wow...minsan pati sarili ko'y ginugulat ko!). Madalas ay nilalakad ko ang tatlong milya mula sa opisina hanggang sa aking apartment. Hindi rin matipid na ehersisyo ito dahil nadadaanan ko tuloy lahat ng sale kaya labas pasok ako sa mga tindahan. Magastos man, ang nagiging konsuelo ko na lang ay humihigit sa tatlong milya ang nalalakad ko dahil sa mga ‘side trips’.

Ito ang panahon ng sinigwelas at duhat sa Pilipinas. Matagal na din akong di nakakatikim nito. Pero tuwing iniisip ko ang pag-planong umuwi sa tag-araw sa bayan natin at na-aalala ko ang tindi ng init at mahal ng kuryente (kung meron man) nade-desisyunan kong mas mabuting matigil na lang muna ako sa aking kinalalagyan. Masyadong mahal na sinigwelas at duhat kung sakali ang uuwian ko.

Isa nanamang kasulatan na walang saysay. Makulit kasi si Ana – napilitan tuloy akong magsulat bago ako mapagalitan ni Ate. Hehehe….

Pangako: ito ang huling soliloquy ko sa Tagalog. Masakit nga ba sa tenga?